Inglenook track plan – layout size calculations

I thought I’d share a little table I put together to show the different layout sizes for a HO scale Inglenook layout. For more background on the Inglenook track plan and the traditional layout composition, check out the Model Railway Shunting Puzzles website:

I had been sketching out the different combinations, based on different car lengths and thought it might be easier to keep track of in table format and I thought I’d post my table here as much for my own benefit than as a proper blog post. This first table starts with car lengths based on typical prototypical cars and converts them into their length, in inches, for HO scale:

Length Actual 1 car 2 car 3 car 4 car 5 car 6 car
3.03” 22′-0” 3.03” 6.07” 9.10” 12.14” 15.17” 18.21”
4.14” 30′-0” 4.14” 8.28” 12.41” 16.55” 20.69” 24.83”
4.97” 36′-0” 4.97” 9.93” 14.90” 19.86” 24.83” 29.79”
5.52” 40′-0” 5.52” 11.03” 16.55” 22.07” 27.59” 33.10”

This second table then calculates out the full length of the layout based on either the 2-2-3 orientation or the original 3-3-5 orientation with different options for the length of the headshunt. Note that in the original form, the layout was based on a maximum siding length of five cars and the headshunt was three cars long plus one additional bit for the engine. For the purposes of this plan, I’m assuming an engine of a length equal to the car being proposed.

Car length 22′-0” 30′-0” 36′-0” 40′-0”
2-2-3 with 3 car headshunt 24.21” 30.83” 35.79” 39.10”
2-2-3 with 4 car headshunt 27.24” 34.97” 40.76” 44.62”
3-3-5 with 4 car headshunt 33.31” 43.24” 50.69” 55.66”
3-3-5 with 5 car headshunt 36.34” 47.38” 55.66” 61.17”
3-3-5 with 6 car headshunt 40.38” 52.52” 61.62” 67.69”

To calculate the layout lengths, I assumed the maximum siding length plus the length of headshunt indicated, plus an addition seven inches for the a single turnout. That seven inch long turnout is based on a number four turnout and my estimate on how close you can come within that turnout’s footprint without fouling each road.


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